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The new home cook

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Meal prep kits and what the future holds for how we cook and weat Photo: All ingredients come freshly packaged and ready to cook By Paula Johnshon The rise of convenience food in the mid ‘50s gave us commercially prepared, highly processed, prepackaged food. Most of us grew up with ready-to-eat frozen foods such as […]

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Ethnic exit

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Why it’s time to 86 the term ‘ethnic restaurant’ By Paula Johnson What is “ethnic food,” exactly? Writer Bruce Palling asked this question in 2011, and he found that key food dictionaries such as “Larousse Gastronomique” and the “Oxford Companion to Food” did not mention it at all. Google the definition of “ethnic food” and […]

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Cat-ffeine

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Prepare to socialize over coffee, kitties at Gem City Catfé   Photo: (left) Kitty-face meringues to be served at the Gem City Catfé and (above) Hugh from the Humane Society, which will have cats up for adoption By Paula Johnson It’s fitting that the soon-to-be-open Gem City Catfé is located in the St. Anne’s Hill […]

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The must-do choo-choo

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All aboard the Cincinnati Dinner Train (l-r) Cincinnati Dinner Train performer, the prime rib dinner, and exterior of the train; photos: Paula Johnson By Paula Johnson The elegant, parchment-style ticket bearing your name, train car, and table assignment is punched by a uniformed porter. A line of people dressed up for the evening present their […]

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In the beginning, it was frozen

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DCP dining critic takes readers through her food journey, debuts rating system photo: DCP dining critic Paula Johnson’s love of food and restaurants started with her mother By Paula Johnson I am often asked what I am looking for when I review a restaurant. That’s the question that’s asked right after “How did you get that […]

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At the kids table

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Dining, learning with children By Paula Johnson Photo: Teaching your little ones basic social skills in a restaurant ensures a more enjoyable experience for everyone Q: Still looking for restaurants with family sections so we can have dinner without being interrupted by screaming children, which is annoying especially when paying a premium price for food. […]

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Chef’s confessions

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An inside look at the secret food vices of Dayton’s chefs By Paula Johnson Photo: A bowl of cold cereal is one of chef Darin Mitchell’s (Coco’s Bistro) favorite guilty food pleasures   Recently, it happened again. I was driving near the Dayton Mall. It doesn’t happen often, maybe once or twice a year, but […]

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News isn’t all that’s fake

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Beware of fake ingredients in your food By Paula Johnson Photo: Buyer beware: foods you routinely eat, like fish, are also routinely forged Look, it’s the dead of winter here in Dayton and the skies are gray and cloudy, and it’s cold. So if you, like me, are already suffering from depression about the weather, […]

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Reservations

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What restaurants wish you knew By Paula Johnson Photo: Changing ingredients in carefully crafted food or drink can drastically alter your experience at a restaurant Recently, I wrote about what it’s like to review restaurants for a living and talked about a few things readers might not know about the job. It occurred to me […]

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Moaning about munching

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Being a food critic isn’t all champagne and caviar By Paula Johnson Photo: Writing a bad review is the worst part of dining out any year for DCP Epicurean Empress Paula Johnson On a Monday morning at the end of 2016, I found myself where I am most every Monday morning, sitting in the DJ […]

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Your salad is going to kill you

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And other facts the FDA isn’t telling you By Paula Johnson Photo: It’s science: lettuce and other vegetables lack the nutritional value humans need to stay happy and healthy Alarming headline? It certainly is, and you should read on to find out the seriousness of our lack of understanding of how vegetables—long touted as the […]

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Buen vino, buena familia

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Veleta Wines brings a little bit of Spain to Dayton By Paula Johnson Photo: Veleta Wines vineyard in Ugijar, a village in Granada, Spain; photo: Juan and Nola Palomar Ugijar is a tiny village municipality located in the province of Granada, Spain. According to the 2005 census, the city has a population of 2,524 inhabitants. […]

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A tale of two dinners

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Experiencing fine versus fine dining By Paula Johnson Photo: To become a Most Favored Patron at fine dining establishments, pay in cash when possible and be empathetic with the staff Recently, I had an experience dining at a highly regarded New York restaurant, a place the Zagat describes as serving “flawless French fare that’s impeccably […]

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Last Suppers

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By Paula Johnson Photo: Nibbles’ Maria Walusis would serve her Grammy’s holiday turkey dinner In keeping with this issue’s theme, I thought I would ask a few chefs and notable personages to imagine what their last meal would be like. I asked them to think about what they would eat, whether it would be in a […]

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The state of the State Fair: 

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Fare is fair By Paula Johnson Photo: (l-r) Connie Little, Sandra Carpenter, Paula Johnson, and Cindy Kirkland judge the Deviled Egg Challenge at the Ohio State Fair I learned a lot at the Ohio State Fair in Columbus this past August. An awful lot. First and foremost, I learned that it’s not a good idea to […]

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‘Tis the Seasons

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Much more than jolly at Springfield’s Seasons Bistro and Grille By Paula Johnson Photo: Brisket Tacos at Seasons Bistro and Grille; photo: Paula Johnson Invited by friends Barrister Greg and Cyber Security Sleuth Elizabeth, PIP (Palate In Progress) and I ventured to Springfield to try Seasons Bistro and Grille. Open since 2008, the focus is on […]

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Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/19

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Major key Last weekend a local couple was watching TV in their living room, having a relaxing evening, when suddenly […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/12

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Jesus take the wheel A local couple recently decided to visit their church on a particularly warm and muggy Sunday […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 9/5

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Flightless In a local park, police were dispatched to the crime scene. A woman called the police when she realized […]

The Docket: 8/29

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Stolen in a nanosecond Just last week a woman visited her local sheriff’s office to place a tip on a […]

Law & Disorder: The Docket 8/22

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Totally secure knot …not In a local home a garage door was broken into. This garage door was perfectly secured […]